The American Museum of Fly Fishing and its “Exhibition Profiles” are the profiles of important women fly anglers, fly tyers, conservationists, and guides of yesterday, today, and tomorrow.”
The American Museum of Fly Fishing and its “Exhibition Profiles” are the profiles of important women fly anglers, fly tyers, conservationists, and guides of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. “Exhibition Profiles” are from the book “A Graceful Rise” written by Catherine Comar, the museum’s executive director. Fly Life Magazine.com provides the promotional narrative for the National Endowment for the Arts provided by copyright of the American Museum of Fly Fishing (AMFF) – 2014. More images are viewable in the book and AMFF website.
Meet Annette McLean
Born in Southwestern Montana and raised on a ranch with a mountain creek flowing through it and the Madison River just a couple miles away, Annette grew up imagining the life that fish lived. She remembers catching big brown trout with her hands from the creek late in the summer when the water flow was low, and the browns were easy to reach under the rocks. After graduating from Montana State University with a degree in finance and accounting, McLean and her husband Bob moved to Twin Bridges, Montana, where her husband pursued a teaching and coaching career. Twin Bridges also happens to be the home of the R. L. Winston Rod Company.
The R. L. Winston Rod Company was founded in San Francisco in 1929. In the mid-1970s, Tom Morgan, the new owner of Winston, moved the Company from San Francisco to Twin Bridges, Montana, to “build the finest fly rods along the back of some of the finest trout waters in the world.”
In 1985, McLean secured a job working for Morgan and the Winston Company. Her first job was to buff and polish aluminum reel-seat parts before the anodizing process. After that, Winston produced all of the reel seats virtually. Soon after, she finished the wood seat inserts and machined some metal seat parts. Shortly after Morgan sold the Company to David Ondaatje, McLean became the customer service contact. A couple of years later, she stepped into the graphite rod production manager position and held this position for ten years.
During this time, McLean also traveled as a Winston ambassador to conduct casting clinics for women and children and served as a board member with the International Women Fly Fishers and the local Lewis and Clark Chapter of Trout Unlimited.
In 2006, along with her responsibilities for graphite rod production, McLean also became responsible for Winston’s bamboo rod program. In 2008, she stepped out of graphite rod production and began working with the owner of the Company on the design of graphite rods.
Annette McLean and her husband continue to live in Twin Bridges, and her family remains avid anglers. Her comment at the time of this writing was, “With some of the finest trout waters in the world in my front and back yard and my continuing affiliation with R. L. Winston Rod Co., I continue to live the dream.
500 South Main Street
Twin Bridges, MT 59754
4104 Main Street
Manchester, VT 05254
802-362-3300. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10am to 4pm . . .